Writing Process: Outlining Novels

For the first half of July I felt somewhat flustered when it came to
writing.  After a month of intensive
writing on one project I thought about the different writing projects that I
have and wasn’t entirely sure about what I should be doing.  I used to be able to write a little bit of
one and write a little bit of another and float between the two with ease, but this
month that wasn’t working so well. 
Finally I decided that what I needed was a week of brainstorming the
projects that I’m most interested in working on at this time, so that’s what I
did last week and at the beginning of this one. 
I’ll continue to brainstorm and outline one of the projects, as I am
planning to work on that in August.  I
put another on the backburner until September, when I will figure out when I’d
like to focus more attention on it.  That
leaves me with two different projects to focus on right now.  One is a project that I mentioned a few
months ago: sprucing up an old novel that I absolutely love.  The other is researching and outlining a
novel that has been slowly taking shape in my mind for over a year now.  Finally I have enough of it figured that out
that I can start jotting down details and making plans for it.

This desire to outline in great detail is new to me.  I used to fly by the seat of my pants for the first half
of a novel and write without an outline. 
Of course, I always had specific events in mind but how to get from one
event to the other wasn’t clearly mapped out. 
Halfway through I’d write a more detailed outline and finish out the
novel.  Lately that hasn’t been working
for me and I’ve found myself outlining from the start.  Of course, I still leave room for spontaneity
in the novel and if I decide some things need to change I let them change, but
I do like having a road map from the start. 
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older.

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